Surrender or Survival: Why Hamas Refuses To Lay Down Arms

Western leaders claim disarmament will end Gaza’s suffering, but past and present evidence suggests otherwise. Dive into the real implications of these controversial demands.

If you listen to Western government officials or pundits on corporate media, the only thing preventing an end to nine months of brutal conflict in Gaza is the conduct of Hamas. If the group simply released the remaining Israeli hostages and laid down their weapons, there would finally be peace and prosperity in the embattled coastal territory.

At a NATO meeting in Brussels in April, U.S.Secretary of State Anthony Blinken laid this position out succinctly:

What happened after October 7 could have ended immediately if Hamas had stopped hiding behind civilians, released the hostages and put down its weapons, but Israel is not Hamas. Israel is a democracy; Hamas, a terrorist organization. Democracies place the highest value on human life, every human life. As it has been said, whoever saves a life, saves the entire world.”

Yet, to so many in Palestine and across the world, the idea that Hamas should unilaterally give up its arms is patently absurd. For one, Israeli government officials have repeatedly stressed that, even in the event of a ceasefire and a return of the detainees, the war will continue. Moreover, polling data suggests that more than half of the Israeli public support reoccupying the Gaza Strip after the war, and only nine percent of Israeli Jews believe that the people of Gaza should decide who governs them.

History also suggests that this action would be suicidal. In 1982, the Israeli military invaded Lebanon and besieged the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Beirut. After two months, the PLO agreed to lay down their arms and fled to Tunisia. With no armed groups to stop them, the Israeli military proceeded to carry out massacres of thousands of defenseless Palestinians, the most infamous of those being the Sabra and Shatila massacres, which killed around 3,500 people in just two days.

Thus, Palestinians know precisely what could await them if they lay down their arms.

Israeli officials have also made none-too-cryptic statements about their intention for Palestine. President Herzog, for example, stressed that there are “no innocents” at all in Gaza, effectively giving his troops the green light to kill anyone and everyone they wish. A recent article published by the Lancet estimated that around 186,000 Palestinians have already been killed since October 7.

Ariel Kallner, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, explained Israel’s goal behind the Gaza war. “Right now, one goal: Nakba! A Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of 1948,” he said.

The same sentiment was conveyed by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, the man responsible for translating Israel’s declaration of war into an action plan: “We are fighting human animals, and we will act accordingly,” he said on October 9. “Accordingly” meant that “there will be no electricity, no food, no fuel. Everything is closed.”

“If Hamas lays down its weapons and hands over the Israeli captives, every piece of evidence points towards chaos, devastation, massacres, settlements and occupation,” concluded MintPress’ Robert Inlakesh.

Watch Inlakesh’s full report exclusively at MintPress News.

Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the occupied Palestinian territories and hosts the show ‘Palestine Files’. Director of ‘Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe’. Follow him on Twitter @falasteen47